Back to school

Preparing your child for a happy time at school…

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Back to School

It seems like just yesterday that the school holidays started. But the new year has begun and parents have slowly started trickling back to work.

The catalogues are filled with ‘back to school ideas’ and our minds have started to become filled with hundreds of questions: How will the first day of school/kindly be? Will he/she make friends? What will the teacher be like? How will I cope? Every parent, especially a mum, faces the fear and jitters of the ‘first day back at school’. The child also goes through a carousel of emotions before the dreaded first day arrives.

My youngest started Prep last year, and I was very calm until the day I dropped him off at school.When we entered the classroom, the teacher introduced herself and asked my son to go play and do some colouring. When I saw him leave, a sudden wave of numbness hit me, everything just drained away.It was the moment I realised that my ‘baby’ wasn’t a baby anymore.

It felt like yesterday when I had held him in my arms, rocked him, and had woken up millions of times in the night. The tears flowed Ganga Jamuna and the prospect of going back to an empty house was upsetting.No longer would I have someone to talk to, no one to ask me questions all day, no one to call out ‘Mamma, I’m hungry.’

Slowly I started to engage myself in other activities and involved myself in his class to re-invent my life again.Today, I am actually looking forward to them starting school again so I can have a bit of routine back!As a mum to two young school kids, the best advice is to try and give them as much balance in their lifestyles as possible.

School can be a tough environment for your child. From classroom pressures, to new rules, to lunchtime woes, kids have to undergo a rollercoaster of emotions day in and day out. There will be days when they have no one to play with or have lunch with – that’s okay. There will be days when they get up in the morning and have a stomach ache because they don’t feel like school – that’s okay too.

Offer them reassurance and emotional support. A day home with you and they will be ready for school again.If they want to discuss any anxieties or fears regarding going back to school – let them converse. You might want to share your previous experiences about school or simply empathising with them regarding their emotions will give comfort.

We have this ritual that after I pick the kids up from school, I mute my music and ask the kids how their day was.

Back to School